Stroke sidelines Valenti

Ex-MPAA topper's progress encouraging

Jack Valenti, who represented Hollywood in D.C. for almost 40 years and continues to work on industry-related issues, suffered a stroke last week.

The former head of the Motion Picture Assn. of America had to bow out of a tribute to him at AFI Dallas festival.

After complaining of having difficulty seeing out of his left eye, he went to Johns Hopkins U. Hospital in Baltimore to consult an eye specialist, who told the 85-year-old Valenti he had experienced a stroke and immediately hospitalized him. The extent of any permanent brain injury is not yet known.

“His family tells me that the doctors are encouraged by his progress to date,” said Valenti’s old friend, Warner Bros. chairman Barry Meyer, in a statement. “(Valenti’s wife) Mary Margaret and his children have asked me to express their deep appreciation of the outpouring of love, support and prayers. Out of respect for Jack and the family’s privacy, we are not going to release any additional information at this time.”

A former MPAA colleague was optimistic about Valenti’s recovery. “Knowing Jack, he’ll be bouncing back like it never happened.”

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